If there is one thing I particularly despise it is when a software developer rushes a product to market half-finished, with a bunch of features disabled, so that they can make some cash and grab some market share while they do the job they are supposed to be doing – namely, FINISHING THE GAME.
Sadly, thus is the case with Gin Rummy Plus by Peak Games.
To begin with, the game play in Gin Rummy Plus is pretty good, and it looks fantastic. Card games are a dime a dozen, so the only thing that really separates them are graphics and extras.
Peak Games has done a fine job on the graphics part. The look is fantastic, the animations are smooth, and the user interface is very intuitive and learned in seconds.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it with this one. Even after connecting with Facebook, the “leaders” and “friends” buttons are non-functional, giving you a nice little “coming soon” balloon.
This is disappointing, especially the friends option. One of the selling points to games like this (e.g. Words With Friends, What’s the Phrase?, Dice With Buddies/Yahtzee With Friends) is the ability to play against people you know. As of now, this option does not exist… In fact, I would prefer it if they hadn’t even put the button in there to show users and upcoming feature, instead letting the game stand as it is.
As it is, it is a fine game. As I’ve already said, the graphics are very nice, the animations are smooth, and the matchmaking with strangers seems adequate. The turn timer is a bit annoying, as not much time is left for the player to think strategy without forfeiting the entire turn if you don’t discard in time. A turn timer is needed in a multiplayer game, of course, to keep things moving along, and on three missed turns in a row the player forfeits the game, so you won’t be stuck when playing an unresponsive opponents. A few more seconds would be nice, that’s all.
Another shortcoming (though one many, many developers choose to ignore – not that that is an excuse) is the lack of a play vs. CPU option. It never ceases to amaze me how many game developers refuse to put this feature in their games, when it appears it would be fairly easy to do (or maybe not – I’m a gamer, not a programmer… but then I’m giving a gamer’s perspective here, not a developer’s).
Am I nit-picking? Maybe I am. As I said, however, one of my pet peeves are unfinished games. Game developers need to learn to either finish their games before releasing them or get used to some bad reviews. At least from me.